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Timing of Kansas Court Ruling May Have Impacted Primary Voter Turnout

Voters casting ballots in Lawrence in 2012. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

It appears only a small number of voters affected by a recent court ruling turned out at the polls for the Kansas primaries.

A judge ruled just days before the election that 17,000 people who registered to vote at the DMV - but who didn’t turn in a citizenship document - would be allowed to vote in local, state and federal races. But only about a dozen affected voters cast ballots in Johnson County and even fewer did so in Shawnee County.

Mark Johnson is an attorney involved in a lawsuit against Kansas voting laws. He says it’s likely many of the people affected by the ruling were confused about whether their votes would be counted.

“It was just too late in the process, too little time before the primary to get the word effectively communicated to those folks that they should turn out because their votes were all going to be counted,” says Johnson.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach predicted there would be low turnout from the group. He suspects many of those affected by the court ruling were not likely to vote in the first place or may have moved.

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